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How I Spent My Summer Vacation: Stephan Pyles and Katherine Clapner

Pyles and Clapner outside the magnificent temple of Angkor Wat outside of Siem Reap http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/668 Cambodia
Pyles and Clapner outside the magnificent temple of Angkor Wat outside of Siem Reap , Cambodia.

Stephan Pyles and Katherine Clapner decided to explore the exotic countries of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Singapore together. I spoke with Clapner just before she left and she said she really wanted to focus on learning more about spices. “I want to do the whole Spice Route someday,” she said. I can’t think of a more fun person to do that trip. Pyles and Clapner took off last week. They send this culinary postcard.

We had a pretty grand time in Bangkok where we were hosted by chef Siri “McDang,” who is a television chef/instructor and the great great grandson of King Rama the 4th. We spent a day at the market and did some pretty serious Thai cooking at his condo and television studio which is right on the river.

Our best dinner was at Nahm where we had a nice long conversation with the brilliant chef, David Thompson. We had a dish with watermelon, mango, and dried, fried chopped fish (maybe perch?) with toasted coconut. Delicious! (Picture below)

We also had some beautiful curries – red curry with pork and coriander, green curry with tiger prawns and apple eggplants. But the best was coconut-turmeric curry with blue summer crab and calamansi leaves.

Cambodia was mostly temples. We did have an interesting meal at Cuisine Wat Damnak in Siem Reap and I had an Oreo Blizzard at the Dairy Queen (yep!) at the Siem Reap airport.

We’ve had a full day in Hanoi today with a street food tour. 

Bangkok: Stephan Plyes, Siri McDang, Katherine Clapner.
Bangkok: Stephan Plyes, Siri McDang, Katherine Clapner.
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Watermelon, mango, dried fish, coconut.
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Chayote tendrils.
Dried rice noodle colored with tea powder.
Dried rice noodle colored with tea powder.
Young bamboo at market.
Young bamboo at market.

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